Mission / History

Established in 1985 and held every four years, the Kobe International Flute Competition (KIFC) is committed to providing young promising flutists from around the world the opportunity to launch an international career while enhancing international cultural exchanges and friendships through music. In addition, the KIFC aims to promote cultural enrichment of our community in Kobe through music. The KIFC is one of the rare competitions in the world dedicated solely to flute, becoming the first Japanese member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions in 1987.

In 1985, the KIFC started as a cultural event on the occasion of the Universiade, a sports extravaganza held in Kobe for students from international universities. Since then, the KIFC has grown continuously without interruption, even after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake hit the city of Kobe in 1995. Today, the KIFC is highly valued as a competition that produces many flutists currently at the forefront of international stages.

More than three decades have passed since its establishment, the KIFC has reached a transitional period. At the 9th KIFC in 2017, the competition was held with great support from Kobe citizens and admirers of music all over the world, even though the KIFC was in danger of suspending its opening.

To pass this competition down to the next generation, the KIFC—a competition loved by more than ever before—would like to further contribute to the promotion of music culture, international friendship, and Kobe’s prosperity by aiming high and coping with changing times.


9th KIFC (2017)

1stHélène BOULÈGUEFrancePhilharmonie Luxembourg
1stYuan YUChina
3rdYeoJin HANRepublic of Korea
3rdMarianna Julia ZOLNACZPoland
4thMayuko AKIMOTOJapan

8th KIFC (2013)

1stMathilde CALDERINIFranceOrchestre philharmonique de Radio France, Principal
1stSébastian JACOTSwitzerlandLeipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Principal
3rdAdriana FERREIRAPortugalOrchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Principal
3rdAi TAKEYAMAJapanTokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal
5thTimea ACSAIHungaryBamberg Symphony
6thMariko HAMASAKIJapanTokyo Symphony Orchestra

7th KIFC (2009)

1stDaniela KOCHAustriaBamberg Symphony, Principal
2ndLoïc SCHNEIDERFranceOrchestre de la Suisse Romande, Principal
3rdDenis BOURIAKOVRussiaLos Angeles Philharmonic, Principal
4thMegan EMIGHUSASymphony in C, Principal
5thAlessandra RUSSOItalyOrchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Principal
6thMariya SEMOTYUK-SCHLAFFKEUkraineRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra

6th KIFC (2005)

1stYuki KOYAMAJapanFinnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Principal
1stAndrea OLIVAItalyOrchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Principal
3rdSarah RUMERSwitzerlandOrchestre de la Suisse Romande, Principal
3rdAyako TAKAGIJapanTokyo University of Arts, Assoc. Professor
5thIkue KOIKEJapanTokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
6thChristian FARRONIItalyBarcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra
6thReina WATANABE TANAKAJapanOsaka Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal

5th KIFC (2001)

1stSarah LOUVIONFranceFrankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra, Principal
2ndSabine POYÉ MORELFranceTonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Solo
2ndDóra SERESHungaryCarion Woodwind Quintett
4thKazushi SAITOJapanTokyo Symphony Orchestra, Principal
5thDenis BOURIAKOVRussiaLos Angeles Philharmonic, Principal
6thKazunori SEOJapan

4th KIFC (1997)

1stKersten McCALLGermanyRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Principal
2ndMathieu DUFOURFranceBerlin Philharmonic, Principal
3rdHenrik WIESEGermanyBavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Principal
4thGergely Márk BODOKYHungaryDeutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Solo
5thTatjana RUHLANDGermanySWR Symphony Orchestra, Principal
6thDavide FORMISANOItalyState University of Music and the Performing Arts Stuttgart, Professor

3rd KIFC (1993)

2ndAndrea LIEBERKBECHTGermanyUniversity for Music and Performing Arts Munich, Professor
2ndAmy PORTERUSAUniversity of Michigan, Professor
3rdEmily BEYNONUKRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Principal
4thAnna GARZULYHungaryUniversity of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar, Professor
5thYoshiaki TERAMOTOJapanTokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Principal
6thEyal EIN-HABARIsraelUniversity of Münster, Professor

2nd KIFC (1989)

1stPetri ALANKOFinlandUniversity of the Arts Helsinki / Sibelius Academy, Lecturer
1stEmmanuel PAHUDFranceBerlin Philharmonic, Principal
3rdIrén MORÉHungaryHungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
4thStephanie HAMBURGERGermanyUniversity of Music and Performing Arts Munich, Lecturer
6thYoung-Ji SONGRepublic of Korea

1st KIFC (1985)

1stArife Gülşen TATUTurkeyTrossingen University of Music, Former Professor
2ndYumiko SAKUMAJapanKunitachi Music University, Visiting Professor
3rdVicenç PRATS-PARISSpainOrchestre de Paris, Principal
FinalistsUrszula JANIK-KRZEMIONKAPoland
François LAURENTFranceOrchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Principal
Mari NAKANOJapanTokyo College of Music, Assoc. Professor

※As of December 1, 2020
※For recipients of special awards, please see Past Competittions


András ADORJÁNDenmark
Robert AITKENCanada
Petri ALANKOFinland
Takashi ASAHINAJapan
Philippe BERNOLDFrance
Andreas BLAUGermany
Michel DEBOSTFrance
Mathieu DUFOURFrance
Jean-Claude GÉRARDFrance
Peter-Lukas GRAFSwitzerland
Wally HASEGermany
Timothy HUTCHINSCanada
André JAUNETSwitzerland
Hiroaki KANDAJapan
Michael Martin KOFLERAustria
Chang-Kook KIMJapan
Lóránt KOVÁCSHungary
Shigenori KUDOJapan
Christian LARDÉFrance
Maxence LARRIEUFrance
Soyoung LEERepublic of Korea
Jinny LIUTaiwan
Alain MARIONFrance
Paul MEISENGermany
Tomio NAKANOJapan
Aurèle NICOLETSwitzerland
Vincenc PRATS-PARISSpain
Jean-Pierre RAMPALFrance
Felix RENGGLISwitzerland
Hideaki SAKAIJapan
Yumiko SAKUMAJapan
Hans-Peter SCHMITZGermany
Wolfgang SCHULZAustria
Alife Gülçen TATUTurkey
Yasukazu UEMURAJapan
Johannes WALTERGermany
Henrik WIESEGermany
Trevor WYEUK
Hyeri YOONRepublic of Korea
Masao YOSHIDAJapan
Jacques ZOONNetherlands
Valentin ZVEREVRussia

※ in alphabetical order